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I have been developing applications (mostly web-based) for almost 10 years now and have learnt pretty much everything I know through experience (and the internet!). I wouldn't call myself an advanced programmer, but I am quite proficient in several languages (C#, Javascript, Ruby, HTML/CSS etc) and spend a quite a bit of time working on personal projects and reading countless books & articles.

I am looking to emigrate to Canada, hopefully Vancouver (im from the UK) and one way would be on a student visa, if I was going to be studying for a minimum of 2 years. Having never been to university or achieved anything higher than A-Levels I am quite tempted by this path. The thought of learning is more exciting to me now than it was 10 years ago!

What would be people recommend as a good undergraduate course to take that would complement this career path? Would Math be beneficial, if so which area of Math?

TL;DR What undergraduate course/area of study would complement 10 years of (mostly web-based) programming experience?

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closed as off topic by Mark Trapp Nov 14 '11 at 12:00

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There are quite a few Web Development BSc degrees out there. As an example (and only example, I have no idea if it's any good) take a look Information Management and Web Development offered at Loughborough. Such a degree would be easier for you, supplement your experience with academic knowledge and it would be easier to get in since you already got the experience. Oh, and math is beneficial. All math. :P –  Yannis Nov 14 '11 at 10:02
Is there such as thing as an All Math course? –  Dve Nov 14 '11 at 10:08
Nope. Too wide a subject. Pure and Applied Mathematics I think is close to the standard uni lingo for a generic math degree. –  Yannis Nov 14 '11 at 10:12
Hi Dve! Career-advice questions like this are off-topic here: we really can't tell you what's going to be worthwhile for you in your specific situation because we don't know you. The best people to ask are going to be your friends and colleagues. –  user8 Nov 14 '11 at 12:02

1 Answer 1

I would choose a computer science course, something close to the pure/academic/theoretical end of the scale rather than the applied/practical end of the scale.

With 10 years experience I doubt you would get as much from an course that offers an applied approach (eg, imagine if you were given a project at Uni to create a new website for a ficticious company). The course would overlap a lot with your experience, and while you'd probably do well and get great marks, you probably wouldn't learn a whole lot. In fact you might even be able to teach your tutor a thing or two.

It sounds like a pure course would compliment your experience and fill in some gaps you may have. Some of the things you might be interested in are;

  • discrete maths
  • algorithms
  • machine learning
  • history of computers/computer scientists

A course which covers new things, rather than things you've already experienced in your day job is likely to be more interesting and more motivation. Its also more likely you'll stick to it because you're not going to be bored.

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